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it before. one was the american cardinal and joseph ratzinger you may have heard of who became benedict xvi. this time you have 50 conclave veterans in the sistine chapel, and i think therefore will be more inclined to think they ought to have say in what's happening. >> and i believe some 67 who have been elevated to cardinal by benedict xvi. >> that's right. all 115 were appointed by john paul or benedict. >> so as catholics around the world look to the possible direction the church might take, and in america we know there's a big wing of the roman catholics who is looking for a more progressive, more modern catholic church, that addresses the real issues of living in today's 21st century world, other parts of the word are much more traditional, much more conservative model. how do you see it going forward and to you think there will be an american pope for the first time? >> an american pope is a long shot, but for the first time it's thinkable. in the old idea you couldn't have a super power pope because america is too powerful and if you put that guy in, half the world will think vatic
knew benedict when benedict was joseph ratzinger. >> he could work with a real crowd and with his experience in theater and poetry and everything, he would really reach people like that. >> widmer, an author who teaches at catholic university, says as a swiss guard you never spoke to a pope or cardinal unless he addressed you first but he and benedict would chat when benedict was waiting to see pope john paul. >> completely open. >> reporter: what was he like to talk to? >> very -- he would ask me what my interests were and how i felt and how i saw things. >> reporter: and with a sense of humor, like when benedict offered to sign widmer's copy of a book that he written which was pretty thick. >> when i gave it to him he said, you're really reading this? and i said, i'm trying. he said, it helps to do it in small steps. >> reporter: but he also had a personal crisis as a guard, spending his first christmas away from home. john paul helped him through that. >> i sort of had a meltdown and right at that moment he comes out of his apartment and he noticed and he reached out to me and
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